Recent research has shown the positive effects that exercise, yoga and meditation, diet and other factors can have on brain health. Now, Brookdale Senior Living is implementing a new program to share such information with its independent and assisted living residents.

Through a new initiative, residents will be offered a four-session course that explains key factors in brain health through classroom learning and hands-on activities. They also will be offered assistance with developing and implementing personalized brain health plans.

“The good news is that regardless of age, there are specific steps all of us can take,” said Paul Nussbaum, Ph.D., who helped develop the course. Mental stimulation, exercise and physical activity, nutrition, social connectedness and spirituality all have a role in brain health, he said, and the course will emphasize their importance.

The class ties in with Brookdale’s Optimum Life philosophy of wellness, which combines six dimensions of wellness to help seniors live to their best capacity.

“This new class takes an important step by giving our residents specific guidance and tools for shaping their own brain health plans and new ways to keep the brain active through mental fitness and new learning opportunities,” said Carol Cummings, R.N., senior director of Optimum Life engagement and innovation for Brookdale.

Nussbaum, who is board-certified in clinical and geropsychology with a specialty in neuropsychology, is an adjunct professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and author of “Save Your Brain.”